For the second consecutive year, the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities has achieved its goal of reducing its energy consumption by five percent, helping the U avoid $2 million in annual energy costs.
“We tackled many of the more obvious, simple efficiency improvements while meeting our initial energy savings goal in 2010,” said Energy Management Assistant Director Jim Green. “As a result, the road to reducing energy consumption further has gotten steeper. We had to work harder for every additional kilowatt-hour or pound of steam saved to reach this year’s goal.”
Facilities Management’s (FM) Energy Management group initiated the It All Adds Up conservation program in 2009, which includes recommissioning buildings, engaging the campus community and reducing operational energy use. The initial It All Adds Up goal was to reduce energy consumption by five percent ($2.25 million) for fiscal year 2010. After saving more than $2.6 million annually in FY10, the University continued its commitment to a five percent reduction in FY11.
Some of the more significant energy efficiency projects completed in 2011 were the St. Paul Campus Central Chilled Water System expansion, HVAC System optimization in Keller Hall and modern digital HVAC control system installation in the Mayo Building. These large projects (which save the University between $80,000 and $200,000 annually) combined with the savings generated by more than 220 smaller projects all contributed to achieving the $2 million energy cost savings in 2011.
“From a simple occupancy sensor installation, which might save $30 a year, to complex HVAC system modifications which save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, it all adds up, just like our slogan says,” noted Green.
Since the It All Adds Up program began, Energy Management efforts have helped the University avoid more than $4.6 million in annual energy costs and release 50,000 fewer tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually. Energy Management has committed to tackling another five percent reduction goal in fiscal year 2012.